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Unlocking Business and Community Success through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Insights from Schabel Solutions

Katherine Harrington

From Katherine Harrington, President & CEO | West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce

Last week, The WDM Chamber of Commerce team had the privilege of hosting the President & CEO of Schabel Solutions, Claudia Schabel, a renowned expert in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), for an enlightening training session. As leaders gathered to delve into the realm of DEI, Claudia Schabel delivered invaluable insights that shed light on the pivotal role DEI plays in organizational and community prosperity.

One of the fundamental points emphasized by Schabel was how DEI serves as a catalyst for organizational and community thriving. In today’s interconnected world, embracing diversity isn’t just a moral imperative; it’s a strategic advantage. By fostering an inclusive environment that values and respects individuals from all backgrounds, organizations can tap into a wealth of perspectives, experiences, and talents, driving innovation, creativity, and productivity.

Central to understanding and implementing DEI initiatives is the concept of culture. Schabel stressed the importance of defining organizational culture and aligning it with core values. A culture that reflects and upholds core values not only fosters cohesion but also serves as a compass for decision-making and behavior within the organization.

Furthermore, Schabel highlighted the multifaceted nature of diversity beyond mere skin color. Diversity encompasses a spectrum of dimensions, including socio-economic status, physical abilities, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, work background, education, beliefs, and more. Recognizing and embracing these diverse dimensions is essential for creating a truly inclusive environment.

The demographic landscape of the United States is rapidly evolving, with projections indicating a shift towards a majority non-white population. Understanding these demographic shifts underscores the urgency of prioritizing DEI initiatives. Not only is DEI crucial for reflecting the changing demographics of society, but it also holds immense economic potential.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, closing the racial equity gap could boost the American economy by a staggering $8 trillion by 2050. Moreover, studies have shown that diversity drives economic growth, with initiatives such as supporting women-owned businesses and hiring individuals with disabilities contributing significantly to GDP.

Looking ahead, the workforce of tomorrow will be increasingly diverse, with Generation Z poised to comprise a significant portion of the workforce by 2030. In this context, organizations must adopt a comprehensive DEI framework that encompasses the workforce, workplace, and marketplace.

So, what is your DEI “why”? For organizations, embracing DEI isn’t just about compliance; it’s about creating a better work environment, attracting and retaining top talent, gaining valuable insights, making better decisions, understanding customers, fostering customer relations, and ultimately, driving greater profitability and global appeal.

In conclusion, Claudia Schabel’s DEI training underscored the imperative for organizations and communities to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion. By embracing DEI as a strategic imperative, organizations can unlock the full potential of their people and drive sustainable growth and success in an increasingly diverse world.

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